I read these words in my morning devotions: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise” (Ephesians 5:15). In that moment, I flashed back to playing soccer in Kenya.
My wife and I went with a medical mission team to Kenya in 2013. As a nurse practitioner, she worked clinics at churches in the Kisii region with other doctors and nurses. I went as chaplain, encouraging the team, helping out as needed, and talking through translators to the many adults and children who came to the clinic each day.
One afternoon I joined a large group of children playing soccer in a field behind the clinic location. Their ball was made from duct tape wrapped around old plastic bags they had scrounged out of the garbage. The goals were a couple of tree branches sunk into the ground ten feet apart. The soccer field was a cow pasture, complete with cattle.
Yes, every moment of the game, you had walk, run, and kick very carefully. I was a moderately successful goalie, only dirtying up my shoes a bit. As we played, the group of children, of all all ages, grew and grew. No translators were needed. The game of soccer is like an international language.
Life is like that. In a world filled with dishonesty, greed, anger, immorality, and violence, you have to watch your step. Before you know it, you’re a mess. You’ve been deceived, you’re unhappy, you lash out in anger, and you hurt the people around you.
Messy people find forgiveness in Christ and a different path in life. We can walk (live) with integrity, generosity, encouragement, and kindness bringing light into a dark world.
So watch your step. Check your shoes. Yes, you need God’s grace. Then daily follow in his footsteps, the path of life.